GC '07: Kojima holds court in Leipzig

Metal Gear master dishes on MGS4 bosses, teases attendees' questions about 360 ports and PS3 force feedback.

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LEIPZIG, Germany--After a fleeting appearance at the E3 Media and Business summit last month, Hideo Kojima returned in force to the Games Convention. Despite having shown a lengthy presentation of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots at the series' 20th-anniversary party in Tokyo recently, the famed Metal Gear creator presented more new material to a packed audience this morning.

Kojima began his presentation by commenting on the legacy of superhuman boss characters in Metal Gear Solid games. He said that he felt compelled to create a new set of bosses for the fourth game that would top even the larger-than-life personalities of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Thus, he created the previously unveiled Beauty and the Beast Unit for MGS4, a group of four beautiful women whose minds have been destroyed by the horrors of war. The quartet has apparently chosen to work out their issues by donning animallike robot suits--similar to a wolf, an octopus, a raven, and a mantis--and making Solid Snake's life hell. Kojima then showed off the characters in a new trailer released here at Games Convention.

After the trailer, Kojima talked about his use of actresses and models after whom the four battle-scarred women in the game are modeled. Japanese actress Yumi Kikuchi, the inspiration for one of the members of the Beauty and the Beast Unit, joined Kojima on stage and gave a token greeting and thanks to the city of Leipzig. Then Kojima presented a brief video showing some footage of Kikuchi and others, such as blonde model Lyndall Jarvis, being scanned facially so their likenesses could be incorporated into the game.

Following the presentation of the Beauty and the Beast trailer, Kojima engaged a short Q&A session that provided little hard information but a number of laughs from the crowd. When asked whether the recently unveiled Metal Gear Online would be included in MGS4 or released as a separate SKU (or retail item), Kojima and other Konami reps indicated that at least some aspect of MGO's gameplay would appear as an online mode in MGS4. However, the final plans for the eventual release of Metal Gear Online have yet to be decided. He also confirmed that boss characters from some past Metal Gear games will appear as playable characters in MGO.

Stop asking me about the Xbox 360!
Stop asking me about the Xbox 360!

A savvy member of the audience quickly asked about the status of an Xbox 360 port of MGS4, a question which producer Ken Imaizumi addressed directly in English. He stated that Konami has no plan for an Xbox 360 version of the game, then paused, and added a sly "for now." This elicited much laughter and groaning from the audience. Another attendee asked if MGS4 will support controller rumble, to which Imaizumi said "We wish we could. Let's see what's gonna happen." Kojima followed this up by describing the "rumble guy," the member of Kojima productions whose job it is to make smart use of force feedback. Lately, Kojima said, he's become worried that the rumble guy has nothing to do, and he hopes that he can give said fellow more tasks in the near future.

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